Sprinkler Trade Off Clauses in the Approved Documents
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering in Fire Engineering
Sprinkler trade offs are clauses in the approved documents that allow various reductions in passive protection, maximum fire cell areas or maximum path lengths where an approved sprinkler system is present. Sprinkler trade offs have been present in New Zealand since they were introduced into NZS 1900 Chapter 5 in its 12th amendment in 1978. They have been progressively added and to NZS 1900 Chapter 5 and more recently to the Approved Documents of the New Zealand Building Code, up to the final ammendment in December 1995. By conducting an analysis of the approved documents and overseas building codes, a risk analysis and a cost benefit analysis this report concludes that sprinkler trade off clauses are a valuable tool in ensuring fire safety in this country. If the clauses are utilised the protection will be economical over 30 years and not endanger the occupants of the buildings or their contents. The level of trade offs is presently set at a level that may be considered a bare minimum to ensure safety in the event of a sprinkler failure. In specific situations where property protection may be lowered by the removal of some passive systems, it may be prudent for the owner to not use all the permitted trade offs, especially if the building contents are valuable or considered vital to business.